BMI Mechanical Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning
BMI Mechanical Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning
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▸ October 16, 2021

If you’re a building manager or owner, it’s likely that you know a rough estimate of how much you spend on repairs, maintenance, and service for your HVAC system.

Depending on the status of your HVAC system, these necessary costs can run up quite the tab. And unfortunately, the expenses don’t stop there.

We’ve laid out 5 additional costs to owning and operating your HVAC system.

In-house Staff

Maybe you manage a multi-tenant building. If this is the case, it’s likely that you have an employee who spends a portion of their workweek listening to and addressing tenant concerns. Some of these concerns probably overlap with your HVAC system.

At the end of the day, this boils down to time. 

How much time has your employee (or employees) spent dealing with these issues, and what does that equate to in total payroll costs? This could easily end up costing your business hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars every year.

Administration

Let’s say you do have an HVAC system that’s more needy than others. This could mean that your employees are regularly encountering HVAC issues and hunting down contractors, bids, invoices, project contracts, appointments, and more.

Again, how much time does this take from your employees and how much is costing your business in payroll every year? And what better activities could your employees be focusing on? Activities that could be making you money as opposed to spending it… 

Productivity

If your building can’t maintain the appropriate temperature and struggles to preserve good indoor air quality, your employees or tenants will be uncomfortable and less productive. This is a fact and is among the top concerns of office workers.

A survey  shows that heat and cold are the top two complaints for office workers. And studies prove what is a matter of common sense to most employees: if it’s too frigid or steamy, you are not going to be able to get as much done.

We all know that a loss in productivity means a loss in time and money. But exactly how much time and money does this mean for your business?

Energy

Unsurprisingly, one of the top money wasters of HVAC systems is energy. If you’re attempting to operate and maintain your HVAC system in-house, then you may not have direct access to someone who understands how to minimize energy waste. 

There’s a lot that goes into this component — from updates to automation to reporting. If you’re not careful and if you’re not on-the-ball, you could be spending considerably more money than you have to spend.

Capital Avoidance

For a true annual cost analysis, you need to factor in the annualized cost of future replacement for your HVAC equipment. This requires an analysis of age, condition, and current replacement costs

If you’re not factoring this into the total cost of owning and operating your own HVAC system, then you’re going to be in for a big surprise at some point in the future. For many building owners and managers, this point often comes much sooner than they realize.

Do you need help understanding the total cost of your HVAC system?

Give us a call or send us a message today. At BMI Mechanical, we’ve spent the last several decades helping companies all across the West Coast better understand, operate, and maintain their HVAC system. As a result, we’ve helped them save money and create a better indoor environment for their tenants and employees.

hvac system with cool yellow colored ducting
▸ July 7, 2021

Your HVAC system does a lot of good for your business. It keeps your guests and employees comfortable, productive, and healthy. But unfortunately, there are several facets of your HVAC system that can create hurdles and complications for you — regulations and reporting requirements are prime examples of those hurdles.

To further break this down, let’s discuss some of the reporting and management requirements and provide you with guidance on how to remain compliant with them.

Refrigerant Management

Refrigerant is an ozone-depleting substance that can be harmful to the environment. As of late, R-22 refrigerant has been in the process of phasing itself out. As a business owner or manager, it’s important for you to keep up with updates such as this one. Otherwise, you could face fines and regulatory shutdowns.

On top of this, you’re also required to maintain regular and detailed reporting on refrigerants. This includes leaks, type, levels, dates, and more. If you fail to keep up with reporting, this could create serious regulatory hurdles for your business.

When you work with an HVAC company like BMI Mechanical, they’ll constantly collect and maintain all information pertinent to your system. At BMI, we gather all this information and use it to generate reports on their behalf, helping them maintain compliance in the process.

Boiler Emissions & Air Quality

When it comes to the usage of large boilers, you’re required to abide by regulations at both the statewide (California Air Resources Board) and local (County Air Pollution Control District) levels. Specific emissions produced by these boilers must be measured and reported annually. If they do not meet the acceptable limits set by the state and county, then repairs or replacement are required.

Working with a commercial HVAC company eliminates this hurdle and simplifies the entire situation. At BMI, we have specialized testing and reporting services available to help our clients with this particular regulatory concern.

HVAC companies can also help you with seasonal shutdowns. Read our 3-part guide on seasonal HVAC shutdowns.

Air Change Rates

Depending on your business environment, you may be held to different regulatory standards — this includes healthcare facilities and ACH (air changes per hour) rates. When you’re talking about ACH, you’re talking about the number of times air is cycled in a room within a specific period of time.

The required ACH varies by business and in some cases, by room. It is impossible to measure the ACH rate without specialized equipment and skills. This is why it’s important to work with an HVAC company who can take this regulatory concern off your plate. They’ll also be able to work this into regular service testing, so it is always reported accurately and keeps your business in the clear at all times.

Learn more about indoor ventilation and Needlepoint Bipolar Ionization (technology that helps reduce the spread of COVID-19 indoors).

Need help working through your regulatory hurdles?

Then give BMI Mechanical a call. We have 100+ years of experience helping companies navigate regulatory and compliance issues, and we’d love to help you, too.
Give us a call or fill out our online form to learn more.

neon sign shaped like a question mark
▸ July 7, 2021

Many people want to know, “How often should I change my air filter?” 

Does it really make a difference if I replace it once every 6 months as opposed to once every 3 months?

The answer to this question is yes. It does make a difference, and here’s why:

  • You can reduce repairs: Your air filter collects a lot of things over time (pet dander, dirt, etc), and it usually turns “dusty” or “grey” as a result. If you allow your filter to be dirty like this for long periods of time, it can have a negative impact on your HVAC and its components. This will ultimately lead to more repairs (and more bills).
  • You can save money: Yes, you can save money on repairs by doing an air filter change at the right time, but you can also save money on your heating and cooling bill. Your HVAC won’t be able to work properly with a dirty air filter — instead, it has to work much harder. You can guarantee that this hard work will be showcased in your next energy bill.
  • You can improve your IAQ (indoor air quality): Whether you have allergies or not, it doesn’t matter. If your air filter can’t do its job properly, you’ll eventually be breathing in a whole lot of stuff that’s not great for your body. 

Now that we better understand why it’s important to change out the air filter, let’s talk about how often to change the air filter.

How often should you change your air filter?

There are a handful of factors that can impact the question of how often to change the air filter. These factors will vary from home to home and from business to business. This ultimately means that every building should be doing an air filter change at different times.

If you’re in a commercial or industrial setting that requires a more particular air filter, we recommend discussing air filter changes with your HVAC partner. In these cases, a licensed HVAC contractor is almost always required in order to remove the air filter safely and correctly. 

However, if you’re dealing with a more standard office or home air filter, then an air filter change is usually recommended every 2 to 3 months. 

In some cases, this timeframe could be extended to as much as 6 to 12 months, but this really depends on the inner workings of the office or home. Factors that can affect how often you change out your air filter can include:

  • The type of air filter you’re using
  • If there are pets indoors
    • What type and how many
    • Typically means every 1 to 3 months
  • How big the building is
    • The larger the building, the more air filter changes recommended
  • What the outdoor environment is like
    • Heavily polluted cities means more air filter changes
  • If the occupants suffer from allergies or breathing-related issues (like asthma)
    • Typically means every 1-2 months
  • How often the building is occupied and how many people occupy it
    • Is it a vacation property? (lowers the amount of changes in comparison to a permanent residence)
    • Is there only 1 person in the office at a time? (lowers the amount of changes in comparison to a busy office environment)

Keep Reading: Take a look at 5 summer HVAC issues 

If you still don’t know when to change your air filter, here’s what we recommend.

If you’re still not sure how often to change your filter, then a good timeframe to live by is every 60-90 days. 

If you don’t have any pets and you live in a city with no heavy pollution, then you can stretch it to 90 days. If you do have pets, live in a heavily polluted city, or have occupants with allergies or breathing issues, then you should (at least) be replacing your filter at the 60-day mark.

If you’re in a work environment and you have employees or coworkers to worry about, then we suggest speaking with a commercial HVAC contractor. In traditional office environments, we would still recommend every 60-90 days, but this can change depending on your HVAC and your specific needs and habits.

Long story short: changing your air filter does make a difference. One simple task can help keep your HVAC unit working properly and your indoor air quality at a good level.

Related Content:

▸ July 2, 2014

By Luis Hernandez BMI Mechanical Chief Operating Officer Dax Brott said he was genuinely excited when the Tulare-based, family-owned company won the California Family Business of the Year award given out by the Institute for Family Business. Read More ▸

▸ April 25, 2014

By Gabriel Dillard It was a reunion of sorts for Tulare County’s own “Flying Burrito Brothers” amateur volleyball team at the 25th annual California Family Business Award dinner last night in Fresno. Read More ▸

▸ July 14, 2012

By Donna-Marie Sonnichsen An outpouring of support from throughout the county to a local museum has shown once more the heart the people of Tulare County have. Read More ▸

Factoid

Energy constitutes 63% of a facility’s total HVAC owning & operating costs. Linc

Thank You for the quality of service that you have given this division over the past 20 years. Any time we have called with an issue regarding our air conditioning units, you have responded very quickly and professionally. Under our maintenance agreement you have kept all of our units serviced and in excellent running condition. Your staff is professional and always available to meet our needs in a timely manner. Charlene White Production Assistance Berry Petroleum Company South Midway Sunset Asset Team division

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